OTTAWA — Canada’s economy is continuing on an upward trajectory. Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey suggests that the country added 90,000 jobs in August 2021. This comes after a strong June and July, which saw the addition of 231,000 and 94,000 respectively. The survey reflects labour market conditions during the week of August 15 to August 21.
Full-time work and service sector jobs drove gains in August in accommodation and food services as restrictions eased throughout the country.
Four Canadian provinces lead in job recovery
The August survey report mainly was good news, with full-time work and the service sectors such as accommodation and food services leading to job growth. Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia saw the most significant increase in employment. The remaining provinces didn’t see much change in their employment numbers.
The number of people working in the construction industry increased (+20,000; +1.4%) for the first time since March 2021.
Lowest unemployment rate since last year
Unemployment fell to 7.1% for August compared to 7.1% in July, the lowest since the pandemic started.
The economists had expected that Friday's report from Statistics Canada would be a good one. They thought things would get better because restrictions were easing in much of the country.
The number of unemployed Canadians dropped by 29,000 to 394,000 in August. However, the long-term unemployment rate was still 215,000 above pre-pandemic levels and one quarter or 75% had lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Overall, employment was within 156,000 jobs of the employment level recorded in February 2020. This is the closest the country has come to recovering all jobs lost during the pandemic's first wave.
Job changing rate back to normal
Not only is the job-changing rate back at pre-pandemic levels, but workers with jobs feel more comfortable searching for new opportunities. Statistics Canada reported that 0.8% of August's workforce changed their position during this period - same as the pre-pandemic rate after dropping to zero during the first wave lockdown.
Employment Rate rises for recent immigrants
In August, the employment rate for very recent immigrants (five years or less) in Canada reached 70.4%, a 6.1% increase compared to August 2019.
Among those who've been in Canada longer than five years, we see that the employment rate was 58.5%, a decline of 1.5% compared to August 2019.
For people who are born in Canada, the unemployment rate is 61.4%. That's down 2.2% from the pre-pandemic level.